Greenbelt Partners with Essex, Gloucester on Climate Threats
State Grant Funds Conservation Education, Strategies
Greenbelt, Essex County’s Land Trust, will partner with Essex and Gloucester to address the challenges these communities face from climate change.
As temperatures rise and coastal storms become more intense, both communities have identified flooding as a significant threat to business, roads and bridges, and wetlands, including the Great Marsh where the impact of sea-level rise is identified as a climate hazard.
The project is funded by a grant from the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management, and will focus on outreach and education on the topics of land conservation and coastal resiliency.
Essex County, with its miles of shoreline, is especially vulnerable to climate change. The impact is already being felt by families who derive their economic livelihood from fishing and clamming, and the hundreds of businesses dependent on the dollars that tourism brings.
In both Essex and Gloucester, critical public infrastructure is threatened by coastal hazards. Post-storm recovery has become more demanding, to protect roads, bridges, and water and sewer infrastructure.
Rising temperatures and heat were also identified, with heat-related concerns including more severe droughts and extreme heat events.
Greenbelt is dedicated to addressing the challenges of climate change through its work to protect and manage land. Its one-of-a-kind database now evaluates the conservation value of parcels in the most flood-risk areas, those most resilient to climate change, and those that best mitigate the urban heat island effect.
Greenbelt will create customized maps for each municipality that identify parcels that are a priority for conservation and assist them in developing conservation strategies.
Essex County Greenbelt is a non-profit land trust that works to conserve the farmland, wildlife habitat and scenic landscapes within the 34 cities and towns of Essex County. Since its founding in 1961, Greenbelt has conserved over 17,600 acres of land, and has been directly involved in protecting 75% of the Essex County acreage conserved in the last decade.
Greenbelt is grateful to several professional and staff photographers whose work is featured prominently within our website.
Thank you Jerry Monkman / ecophotography.com, Lynne Holton, Kindra Clineff, Adrian Scholes and John Raleigh.